Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Can You Make it without this or that???

Cookbook authors and cooking teachers are inundated with requests for modifications of recipes that we (well, some of us) have worked hard and tested repeatedly so you can get it right.  But, inevitably, someone will ask, "can I leave out the fat?" (NO), "can I make it with soy?"  (how the heck should I know?) "can I substitute XY OR Z?" (probably not)  The latest craze is gluten free---I know there are those who are truly gluten intolerant, and then there are those that just don't want gluten in their diet.  These are real problems, but I can't fix them.  I'm not a nutritionist (and those who complain because books don't have nutritional information in them don't realize the book would cost them 4 times the price if the info was there--authors have to hire someone to do that, and the publisher doesn't want to spend the money)  I am trained in the culinary arts and love what I do, but I can't change the recipe for you; what I can do is offer what I know would be suitable alternatives---leave out the cream in a soup and add more broth if you don't want the fat in it.....which then brings me to the point of this post. 

 Dr. C. and I are into day 3 week 2 of our bathroom remodels, and every morning I make a pot of coffee and have some kind of goodie for the guys---this week I didn't have much in the freezer, so thought I'd make a coffee cake.  But, of course it can't be ANY coffee cake, I wanted to make one with peaches in it, but found no recipes for a straightforward peach coffee cake, so thought I'd modify one that has worked in the past with blueberries.  Now, here's where the fun begins: baking is science, the bakers of the world are the nerds of the culinary industry, they measure, they make sure the butter is just at the right temperature, the eggs just so, the sour cream at the perfect consistency.  This is why I am not a baker---I hate rules!  So here I am at 6:30 a.m. putting together this coffee cake which was way more complicated than it needed to be, but I have to say it was delicious and the boys appreciated it.  I've redone the instructions so they don't seem so onerous, hopefully you will make this and enjoy it, too! 

Peachy-Keen Coffee Cake
Serves 12

One 10-ounce bag frozen sliced peaches, coarsely chopped (you will need about 1 1/2 cups--if using fresh)

Drain the peaches and pat them dry. Set aside while making the streusel and Cake

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces

In a food processor, process the flour, sugars and cinnamon.  Remove 2 tablespoons and set aside. Add the butter to the work bowl, and pulse the flour mixture on and off until it becomes crumbly.  Set aside.


1 1/4 cup sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon oil
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups sour cream
  1. Coat the inside of a tube or bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Set aside while preparing the cake.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light.  Add the eggs, vanilla and lemon oil, and beat together until combined (it may look curdled)  
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.  
  4. Pour half the batter into the prepared tube pan.  

  1. Toss the dry peaches with the 2 tablespoons of the reserved streusel flour mixture and spread into the center of the batter.  
 Top with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the streusel topping. 

 Bake for 55 to 65 minutes until a skewer inserted in the the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, remove from the tube pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.  I have cut this when it was still warm at 60 minutes, it is a bit crumbly, but still delish!

I hope you are having a great Wednesday!  Tile is going into the water closet room up the walls like a wainscoting---can't wait to see the glass tile accents on the walls--hope I still love them as much as I did when I picked them out!  I'll be back tomorrow....until then, remember to follow the recipe, and if you need to omit something there is a universe of information on the internet to help you!

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